Rising Star Pastry Chef Mikiko Yui - Biography

May 2016

Growing up in small-town Japan, Mikiko Yui moved to San Francisco in 2003 to learn English. Though she graduated law school in Japan, Yui took a fork in the road that led to the hotel management program at City College of San Francisco. From there, she externed at Gary Danko with Rising Stars alum Belinda Leong, her first foray into pastry. Next, Yui took a position at Boulette’s Larder, where she learned the art of the canelé, a pastry she would wrap her arms around and never let go. While at Boulette’s, Yui also externed at Rubicon two nights a week and later worked there as a pastry assistant with two more Rising Stars alums, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski.

Two years later, Yui returned to Japan with an expired visa. Taking advantage of every opportunity to pursue pastry, she took up work at local pastry shops. In 2009, Yui came back to San Francisco for a position at Coi, before moving on to work for Lincoln Carson at Michael Mina in 2011. She then helped Brioza and Krasinski open State Bird Provisions, and she is now solidly at the helm of the pastry operations at State Bird and its sister restaurant, The Progress. Most recently, Yui developed her passion project, a canelé pop-up, that’s turning the classic pastry on its head, literally. Her next move: introduce Tokyo to her California canelé.